Monday, September 23, 2013

Hello From Portsmouth

Well this week has definitely had its ups and its downs

Monday Sept 9th:
Well not much happened today but we saw Julia and she said she was really struggling and so we didn't really teach her, instead we got our Book of Mormons and just started reading. By the end she was doing so much better! It is amazing the spirit that is felt from reading the Book of Mormon and the peace that you can feel from it! I know that the only reason she was able to feel better is because of the spirit she felt.

Tuesday Sept 10th:
Some of the most exciting experiences is when we are teaching someone and they just seem to get it and it just makes sense to them. Often people have no idea what the Plan of Salvation is but it makes me feel so good when the investigators just say "Wow. That make so much more sense than what I have been taught." God loves us so much and he wants us to be happy. He knows that we aren't perfect and not everyone is going to follow him but he will never punish us for our choices. He wants all of us to be happy. 

Wednesday Sept 11th:
We went out to Lucasville and Otway today, both are in are area, but I have never been out there before because we never really had anyone to go visit. It was really cool though because soon we will be getting new Elder in Lucasville so we need to start finding people so the area is ready when they get here. We tracted for a little bit and got rejected for the most part but it really isn't that scary because everyone out here is really polite (or at least most people) which makes tracting a lot less scary. 

Thursday Sept 12th:
Well for anyone who has been a missionary is one knows how important having members with us is and today we had 3 members come out with us. It was so cool to have so many come out with us all in one day and all of the lessons went really well. 
In Doctrine & Covenants 130:20-21 it says
 20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
In order for us to receive any blessings, we must be obedient to the commandments that God has given us.

Friday Sept 13th:
Well today we called Julia and she told us that she wanted to postpone the baptism. She has been dealing with a lot of family health problems and well as health issues of her own and just doesn't feel like now is a good time for her to be baptized. She wants to feel ready for it. This made the rest of the day pretty hard and slow. However, at night we had a district meeting which was really good. It was definitely something I needed and really helped me. There was a lot that I learned but I wanted to share a few quotes that I really liked from the meeting. 
"If you're not building your testimony, then you're losing your testimony."
"Hope is seeing ourselves as we may become."
"Hold fast to what you already know, and stand strong until the additional knowledge comes."
"What we know will always trump what we don't know."
"The Gospel is true no matter how many believe it."
"To obey is better than to sacrifice."
"Lord I believe, Help thou my unbelief." Mark 9:24
"When obedience ceases to be an irritant, and becomes a quest, that moment you will be endowed with power on high."

Saturday Sept 14th:
So we didn't end up having our own baptism but the Sisters in our ward did. It was such a cool experience to be a part of. The person who was baptized is one of the sassiest people I know and hates that I'm always happy and smile so much. I don't think she really hates it but she calls me a geek and a punk all the time. The best way to describe her though is after she was baptized she paused a few seconds then said to everyone there "Don't look at my hair!" Everyone laughed so hard because before her baptism her biggest fear was everyone seeing her hair wet so that was really funny. 
Before the baptism I gave a talk on baptism and was scared what I should say because I felt like baptism is something that is hard to speak long about. I tried to think of what would be good for Shawna to hear and decided to focus on the blessings she would receive. By the end she was crying and she told me afterward that I did really well and she loved it and if nobody else did it doesn't matter because I wrote it to direct it to her.
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(Shawnas Baptism)

Sunday Sept 15:
So before I share anything else about my day I must first share a story. On Sunday's we usually have a teenage boy come out with us that is in the young men's. Today Nick O'Connor came with us. Now before we went out to teach anyone we went back to our apartment to eat because we all were hungry. We had a good lunch and at the end I shared some pumpkin bars with him that my mom had sent me earlier in the week. I gave him the knife to cut a piece and he cut it super slow because he said he didn't want to waste any. He took a few bites and then said they were the best pumpkin bars he had ever tasted. After a few more bites he said "Could your mom make these for my wedding?" Elder Williams and I died laughing because this 13 year old kid was talking about a wedding because he loved them so much so good work mom! You did well!
      Anyways we had 3 investigators at church today which was really good. Along with that I always love taking young men out with us to teach. They are usually pretty shy and don't say much but when they share their testimonies the spirit is always so strong. They are so nervous and the testimony is so simple yet I know that everyone can feel the spirit when they share it. 

Well for all of you spider fans out there, you will enjoy this picture. We saw the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life yesterday as we were tracting.
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Well hope everyone is doing well! Thanks for all the love and support!
Elder Ryan Carter

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